Which CT scan findings are characteristic of toxoplasmic encephalitis?

Updated: Mar 08, 2019
  • Author: Murat Hökelek, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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CT scans in patients with AIDS who have toxoplasmic encephalitis reveal multiple ring-enhancing lesions in 70-80% of cases. In patients with AIDS who have detectable Toxoplasma IgG and multiple ring-enhancing lesions on CT scans or MRIs, the predictive value for toxoplasmic encephalitis is approximately 80%.

Lesions tend to occur at the corticomedullary junction (frequently involving the basal ganglia) and are characteristically hypodense.

The number of lesions is frequently underestimated when assessed using CT scan images, although delayed imaging after a double dose of intravenous (IV) contrast material may improve the sensitivity of this modality. An enlarging, hypodense lesion that does not enhance is a poor prognostic sign.

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